When You Need a Five-Year Plan and How to Implement It - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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When You Need a Five-Year Plan and How to Implement It

This information came from a session during the 2023 ELEVATE conference and expo. Don’t miss ELEVATE in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 3-6, 2024.

When you set goals for your landscape company, are they truly ones that challenge your business or are they ones you can easily achieve?

Justin White, CEO of K&D Landscaping, based in Watsonville, California, says when he brought on a business coach, he challenged White to create a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG).

White settled on reaching $30 million by 2030 with 300 employees. They are at $15 million this year, and he says they are on track to reach $30 million by 2026-27.

“Your goals can be so much more than you know,” White says.

Vision Versus Strategic Plan

When creating your five-year plan – you need both a vision and a strategic plan. Your vision is brief, easy to explain and buy into. Meanwhile, your strategic plan serves as the blueprint by being specific and detailed.

White says the key ingredients that go into your vision include your BHAG, your core values, your purpose and alignment. He notes that without your team behind you, your vision is just your own personal goals. White also encourages having a three-year highly achievable goal as this helps provide momentum to your company.

Once you have your vision, you can craft your strategic plan. You should have year-by-year goals with specific targets. Your goals will determine what you need to focus on. White says you need a clear financial plan as well as a sales and marketing plan that matches your growth rate.

A year-over-year org chart as well as a plan on how you go about hiring, training, elevating and exiting employees. White says that K&D offers a severance agreement to all their employees, no matter what. They also have a compensation and benefits strategy so they can attract team members beyond just salary.

White says you also need a plan for executing legendary customer service so you can scale your company. He encourages conducting SWOTs for your entire organization so you can see your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

You also need to decide if you are scaling your business to sell or growing to reward employees as an exit strategy.

Stay on Track

In order to not go off the rails in pursuit of your five-year plan, you need to conduct quarterly planning sessions. White says that his company thinks in 90-day cycles.

“Something is better than nothing,” White says. “If all you come away with is to have a BHAG, something is better than nothing. Just take a bite of the apple.”

He says you can create a company vision in two hours and that having a strategic plan will improve the retention of your A-players.

The key is telling people about your vision, as this helps hold you accountable for meeting your goals.

For more content like this, register for next year’s ELEVATE in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 3-6.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.